Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - eustace

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201709259647521

Requesting opinions on this car and the price.

I have gone and see the car.

Positives:-

1) Full Honda service history of last 5 services, including invoices of last 4 services done
2) Last service done in Spetember 2017. So service not due for almost a year.
3) Current MOT carried out in September2018 with no advisories
5) after market rear parking sensors fitted
6) body in good condition, with no signs of any scuffs or corrosion
7) low mileage for the age
8) Last service also included a rear disc change. This indicates to me that the owner has not skimped on any work that needed doing, inspite of intending to sell the car.

Negatives:-

1) low mileage - i understand that the car is used for a 2 mile long daily journey (4 mile daily round trip)
This raises concerns on impact of low mileage journeys on engine health, because engine unable to warm up, etc.

2) door sills and boot sills were quite thickly coated with dust / grime
Minor matter, but just an indication that the car was probably never hand washed by the owner, and always washed at car washes.
I generally hand wash my car every couple of months and ensure door and boot sills, etc. are thoroughly cleaned

Car is advertised for £7200

We Buy Any Car Valuation:- £5750/-
Auto trader valuation:-
Part-exchange guide price:- £5960
Private guide price:- £7040

I think the autotrader private guide price is over estimated. I don't think it's realistic for any one buying a car privately to pay £1000 over the trade price.

The Parker guide provides a better thumb rule, where private prices are estimated to be around £500 over trade price, dealer prices £1000 above and franchised dealer prices £1500 above.

I initially offered £6400 for the car and then upped it £6600.

The buyer says that a dealer has offered him £6800 in part exchange for the car he wants to buy, but is adamant he will not accept anything below £6700.
So the difference in expectation is really only £100 now. I don't mind stumping up and paying the amount, but am wondering whether I would be foolish in paying £750 over the trade price for a private purchase, where there is no comeback.
Particularly given it's low running of 3000 - 4000 miles a year for the last 4 years.

What are peoples thoughts on this? Is it worth going for this car, or should I wait a bit and see if I can get a better car for my money?
Something a bit newer (even if it has more miles), or something with a higher spec (such as with reversing camera, Cruise Control, etc.).
Or is this car still a good buy at this price?

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - focussed

What you have to ask yourself is:-

What else on the s/h car market can I buy that is going to be as reliable as this car?

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - eustace

Perhaps nothing other than another Civic / Auris.

Just really looking for soem reassurance, that I am not potentially overpaying for a private purchase, and that the low miles aren't too much of a cause for concern.

Else I am not in a hurry. Can wait for a better example / priced car, if this is not a sensible purchase.

Edited by eustace on 15/10/2017 at 00:21

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - gordonbennet

The low mileage wouldn't worry me one bit, assuming those services included an oil change its never done above 5k on the same sumpful.

Before i handed any cash over i'd don my overalls and sling meself as far underneath as i could, easiest view will be from the rear, with torch and have a good look round to see how much rust has formed on the rear subframe and suspension mounts, calipers etc, if the sills and wheelarches haven't been washed then doubtful anyone has washed the salt off...if indeed it collected any salt on its gentle usage.

You've checked the MOT history out yourself? by the way its clean no advisories.

Edited by gordonbennet on 15/10/2017 at 00:29

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - eustace

Yes, I checked the MOTs myself no advisories. And the all the MOTs / services were done by Honda main dealer.

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - gordonbennet

I have no idea whether its a good price or not, the mileage is good news to me (others would disagree) but i'd want to a good poke nose underneath before purchase, but the MOT's were all in Crawley so its been at the right end of the country for salt usage, so should be in good nick.

Edited by gordonbennet on 15/10/2017 at 00:47

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - bolt

Looks good to me, low mileage with FSH, long mot, personaly I would take it, interior is vg and assuming underneath is ok would take, but do take for good test drive first in case of any niggles that you cannot see.

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - eustace

Thanks GB! Question now is whether the low miles, full main dealer history and recent service, warrant a price that is £1000 over the WBAC price and £750 over AutoTrader trade price, for a private purchase?

Edited by eustace on 15/10/2017 at 00:51

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - bolt

Thanks GB! Question now is whether the low miles, full main dealer history and recent service, warrant a price that is £1000 over the WBAC price and £750 over AutoTrader trade price, for a private purchase?

WBAC only pay what they have to and less if they can, its the way they work, I would be surprised if you can pick a car up at trade price, ie, what the trader got it for as they do want to make money, not give cars away

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - Avant

There is a risk element in any used car purchase - but in this case there seem to be fewer risk factors than usual.

In your position I'd go for it, provided that the sort of inspection recommended by GB doesn'r reveal any nasties.

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - eustace

Thanks Avant / Bolt. I'm more reassured after reading your replies.

Hopefully SLO76 will chip in with an opinion too.

I'd probably ask the seller if he is ok to take the car for an underbody inspection in a nearby gaarage that I have used before. If they give the green signal, then I guess it should be ok.

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - bolt

Thanks Avant / Bolt. I'm more reassured after reading your replies.

Hopefully SLO76 will chip in with an opinion too.

I'd probably ask the seller if he is ok to take the car for an underbody inspection in a nearby gaarage that I have used before. If they give the green signal, then I guess it should be ok.

bear in mind they have an underbody shield that covers under the floor pan so you may not see a lot without taking it apart,its part of the aerodynamics of the car, and if not put back properly could affect MPG

www.google.co.uk/search?q=honda+civic+underbody+sh...M:

Edited by bolt on 15/10/2017 at 10:45

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - SLO76
Depending on what he's trading it in for he'll have been offered between £6k & £6.25k as a part ex and no more. Saying he's been offered £6,800 but he'd take £6,700 is nonsense, it's £100 less so why would he? No, he's just trying to talk you up. As a private sale the car is worth no more than £6,500 which is around £1k less than a low mileage car from a dealer would cost after negotiation. It needs to be cheap enough to factor in the risk of no return when buying privately. If it goes wrong then it's your problem. I'd leave him with you final £6,600 offer, no one else will pay more.

It does sound like a nice car, there's nothing in the advert that puts me off. I assume you looked at the V5 to check it's registered to the sellers address and the yellow trade section is present?
Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - catsdad
Looks good to me.

Trade in price is irrelevant either way. If he were buying a new car at full list the dealer might inflate the trade in price.

I've written before about Honda servicing but can't remember if it was one of your threads. Some are on variable servicing so even "full" service history will not necessarily include an annual oil change. If you are not familiar with their regime its worth looking at the official Honda site which explains their service codes (AB....etc) and checking which has been done on any car you are buying.

Even without an annual change it may not be an issue as Honda may not be driven by the very long intervals which some makers are infamous for. I would just want to know what it had had done and take it into account.
Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - Big John

Don't forget - if you do buy the car you must tax the car before you drive it. Do this online using the number on the green slip(V5C/2). Easily overlooked if you buy a car privately

www.gov.uk/vehicle-tax

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - eustace

Yrs, I did look at the V5. It was registered in his name, at the address he lives in.

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - eustace

How much information can be gleaned, by taking the car to a garage and getting it up on a jack?

I don't want to have to remove the underbody shield. So with the shield in place, can there be much value in looking at the underbody? Can any potential trouble still be spotted?

Else can it be assumed that the presence of an underbody shield will protect the undersides from any corrosion, and just need to check whether the underbody shield is intact?

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - gordonbennet

The undershields won't cover anything you want to see, especially at the rear end subframe suspension brake caliper mounts etc which is where Civics tend to rust, not forgetting the exhaust.

You don't need a garage to do this, the mk1 eyeball of someone with a bit of nous is enough, its in your own interest to do so, underneath is my first point of inspection and i've been back in my car on the way home within 2 minutes before now, having never so much as opened the doors or bonnet, the underside telling me enough.

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - eustace

Nous is something I sadly lack. Hence taking it to a garage, seemed a better idea.

Have you looked at the underside of an 8th or 9th Generation Civic? Does it look something like the below?

http://www.8thcivic.com/forums/civic-si/225939-si-underpanel.html

If so, I don't think I will be able to make much of it.

Also as the car has a recent MOT from Honda, would this be something that would have been checked?

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - gordonbennet

If corrosion is getting to be an issue the MOT tester will often make an advisory note on the MOT, unless the car in question spent its first three years somewhere else this one appears to have been a Sussex car and given the low mileage unlikely to have seen much salt, but there's nothing quite like a poke nose for your own piece of mind.

Its the rear cross member and suspension frames that will show first, which you can clearly see from that diagram, and brake calipers can get alarmingly corroded whether steel or alloy, but you are also looking for any damage to or missing undercovers, and run your hands along the sills feeling for any problems or bent sills where the car has been dropped off a high kerb for example or jacked up badly by an incompetent, checking also the lowest part of the front skirt in case its been scraped on kerb edges or steep approach angle, and have feel how much muck and crud is rammed into the lip of the rear wheel arches...not sure if these have rear pastic inserts to prevent that not many cars do, if crud is packed in there it wants to come out if you buy the car and also gives you a clue it hasn't been washed underneath.

If you look at the MOT histories of cars that lived in Scotland you often find corrosion being mentioned on the very first MOT, in fact a Landcruiser i was perusing because it was too cheap for its year and mileage turned out to be a Scottish car for its first 5 years and corroded brake pipes appeared on teh first MOT @ 36k miles, luckily now with the addresses of mot testing stations on the .gov site its made checking where cars have lived their lives much easier so cars that have seen excess salt can be avoided...must admit i was abit concerned that a low mileage LC should be so cheap, but seeing the MOT history confirmed the usual rule, a cheap LC is cheap for a reason.

The problem being, there was a few years ago a big trade in buying cars at Scoittish auctions and transporting them to small time london car dealers for resale at higher prices to you wealthy middle class southerners..:-), these cars arn't going to fall apart but if left still caked in excess underbody salt they will succumb to problems much faster than a car that spent its life like the one you are hoping to buy would appear to have done, running round Gatport Airwick....as the late marvellous Ray Moore used to say.

Edited by gordonbennet on 15/10/2017 at 21:33

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - eustace

Thanks GB. Your inputs are much appreciated. I'll try to have a poke under it and see what I can observe.

Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy / fair price? - bolt

One car I looked at a few years ago, a not very old Civic, had the car jacked up at some point in the centre of the side sill which caused a flat spot in the sill, they tried to fill with filler and did a terrible job of it

The undercover was missing on it from the engine oil drain plug which according to my mate who had a type R causes more air drag on the underbody and less MPG because of drag

the under cover is designed to give better aerodynamics, so if a bit is missing- badly broken it may not give best fuel consumption, I was told up to 5mpg drop

 

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